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Bill Burlison
Bill Burlison.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 10th district
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Paul C. Jones
Succeeded by Bill Emerson
Personal details
Billy Dean Burlison

(1931-03-15)March 15, 1931
Wardell, Missouri, U.S.
Died March 17, 2019(2019-03-17) (aged 88)
Wardell, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Barbara Humphreys
(m. 1955; div. 1983)

Michal Sue Mickey Prosser
(m. 1995)
Children 3
Education Southeast Missouri State University (B.A., B.S.)
University of Missouri (M.Ed., LL.B.)
Catholic University of America (M.A.)
American University (LL.M.)
Profession Lawyer

Billy Dean Burlison (March 15, 1931 – March 17, 2019) was an American politician who held office in the states of Missouri and Maryland.


Burlison, the son of John Ivy "J.I." and Lillie (née Marler) Burlison, was born and died in Wardell, Missouri. He attended Southeast Missouri State University and earned his law degree from the University of Missouri. Burlison was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Missouri courts. He served in the United States Marine Corps. Burlison was a Democrat. He represented Missouri as a member of the U. S. Congress starting with the Ninety-first United States Congress in 1969 until he was defeated in a bid for a seventh-term by Bill Emerson in 1980.

He moved to Maryland shortly after his congressional defeat. Burlison was an unsuccessful candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1986 and 1990. He was elected to the County Council of Anne Arundel County, Maryland County Council in 1998 and re-elected to a second and final term in 2002. Four months after entering the race for Congress in the 3rd District in the 2006 election, he withdrew his candidacy on November 3, 2005.

After Burlison returned to his native Missouri, he settled in Advance, Missouri, he ran for election to the 159th Missouri legislative district in 2008 and 2010. He lost overwhelmingly both times to Billy Pat Wright. Campaign literature states that he was Southeast Missouri State University student body president in 1952, was a former marine, and was the only person in the country with 7 academic degrees. Burlison moved to his birthplace of Wardell, Missouri, to run for the 149th district in 2014 as state representative Steve Hodges was facing a term limit. He lost to Republican Don Rone, 2,770 (42.15%) to 3,802 (57.85%).

On February 23, 2016, he filed to run for the Missouri Senate against incumbent Republican Doug Libla, and was unopposed in the Democratic primary. On November 8, 2016, Libla won re-election with 69.35% of the vote.

Burlison married Barbara Humphreys in 1955; they had three children and divorced in 1983. He then married Michael Sue Mickey Prosser in 1995, and they remained married until his death. Burlison died on March 17, 2019, at the age of 88.

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